Though data breaches can be a national security threat, 86% are about money, and 55% are committed by organized criminal groups, according to Verizon’s annual data breach report.
Stolen data often ends up being sold online on the dark web. In 2018, hackers offered for sale over 200 million records containing the personal information of Chinese individuals. This included information on 130 million customers of the China’s Huazhu Hotels Group.
Similarly, data stolen from Target and Home Depot turned up on a known online black-market site called Rescator. While it is easy to find marketplaces such as Rescator through a simple Google search, other marketplaces on the dark web can be found only by using special web browsers.
Buyers can purchase the data they are interested in. The most common way to pay for the transaction is with bitcoins or via Western Union. The prices depend on the type of data, its demand and its supply.